Showing Support

An article in the Press Herald highlights some of the ways local businesses including those in the hospitality business are showing their support for the protests. Included in the article’s coverage are Ada’s, Rising Tide and The Honey Paw.

Sid Rumma, a partner at Ada’s pasta restaurant on Congress Street in Portland, couldn’t participate in the Black Lives Matter protests, but he could offer bowls of spaghetti to those protesting.

“I’m just trying to be helpful,” he said as he prepared free midday meals on Wednesday, the second day he and his team at Ada’s have offered to feed and nourish hungry protesters in advance of the afternoon’s public demonstrations.

Black-Owned Restaurants and Bars

I’ve been getting a number of requests the last couple of days for a list of black-owned restaurants and bars. Here are the ones I know of in the Portland area—please let me know if you know of any that are missing and I’ll add them to the list.

To the best of my knowledge Asmara, Burundi Star Coffee, Rwanda Bean and Yardie Ting are the three currently open and doing takeout.

For a list of black-owned businesses in a range of industries across the state of Maine see blackownedmaine.com.

Governor Delays Restaurant Re-Opening for Indoor Dining

The governor has announced plans to delay the re-opening of restaurants for indoor dining in Cumberland, York and Androscoggin counties. The change will still allow for restaurants to begin outdoor dining in those counties as scheduled on June 1st.

The Mills Administration announced today that it is postponing the full reopening of restaurants for dine-in services in York, Cumberland, and Androscoggin counties. Restaurants in these counties were tentatively scheduled to reopen to dine-in services on June 1 (Stage 2) but are now restricted to reopening to outside dining service only beginning on that date in addition to continuing to provide take-away and delivery services. The decision to limit their reopening comes amidst an increase in hospitalizations as well as an increase in case counts in these three counties, both of which are metrics monitored by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC).

A new date for the restart of indoor dining hasn’t been set yet.

Update:As the Press Herald has reported, some restaurants are unhappy with the change in policy, but several restaurants are still moving forward with plans to re-open with just outdoor seating.

Brewers Push for Changes to Re-Opening Plan

The Press Herald reports on an effort by the Brewers Guild to move up the date breweries can re-open their tasting rooms.

The Maine Brewers Guild said Tuesday that the current plan puts the breweries and brew pubs in the same category as bars, which aren’t allowed to reopen until July 1. But many of the breweries in Maine offer outdoor seating and are at least as safe as the restaurants, said Sean Sullivan, executive director of the guild.

NYT: 12 Restaurants America Loves

Eventide is featured in a New York Times article about 12 Restaurants America Loves.

Like fan favorites Maison Premiere in Brooklyn and Petit Marlowe in San Francisco, Eventide pushes all the vintage-oyster-bar buttons, complete with marble counters, tin ceiling and a chalkboard with dozens of shellfish varieties. But it also has an overlay of Japanese flavors and New England tradition that produced its stellar chowders.

Group Advocates Earlier Opening Date for Restaurants

The Press Herald reports that an organization called the Restaurant Workers of Maine sent a letter to the Governor sharing concerns that “the industry could collapse if restaurants are not allowed to operate at full capacity by July 1”.

The group, which says it has 5,000 members since forming in 2017, wants the state to allow the industry to reopen in mid-May rather than having to go an entire month with curbside pickup only and entering June not knowing what levels of customer capacity will be allowed inside eating establishments. The letter asks the governor to evaluate COVID-19 activity levels every two weeks and to make adjustments accordingly, rather than her phased reopening that goes month by month.

June 1st Set for Restaurants to Re-Open

Governor Mills has unveiled her phased approach to re-opening the Maine economy. On point for the food community are stages 2 and 3:

  • Stage 2 begins on June 1st. It allows for the re-opening of restaurants and for gathering of up to 50 people.
  • Stage 3 begins on July 1st and anticipates the re-opening of bars.

I’m counting down the days—all 33 of them—until I can go to a Portland restaurant for a meal. In the meantime some takeout and a haircut (barbers and salons get the green light in stage 1) will fill the gap.